Wednesday, 29 December 2010

We've Moved - Come join us!

Purple and Pearls has a new home, come join us over at  Please make sure you update your RSS feeds

Thursday, 10 June 2010

If this image doesn't grab you...

... nothing will.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Wedding Wednesday

As you read this, I will more than likely be struggling with my tent (hopefully it's sunny or at least dry!), blowing up my air bed, or if I'm really lucky relaxing in my camping chair with a can of something cold-ish and alcoholic!

Today is the first day of the Download Festival.  We'll be here until after the weekend, but fear not I have scheduled a few posts to go live in my absence, so on the off chance that someone actually reads this blog - you won't be left disappointed!

On with Wedding Wednesday!

Let me tell you about Caroline's Cake Company. Cakes that will literally take your breathe away.  Cakes that are more like works of art, I'd never be able to cut into one as I wouldn't want to spoil it!  Don't just take my word for it either, Caroline has been recognised in the press for her amazing cakes including Wedding Ideas Magazine.

Seriously I want the Gruffalo cake!!  You can see more of Caroline's cakes on her blog or on her Flickr

One of my habits is mooching through photographers blogs.  I adore looking at other people's wedding and the way they have been captured.  Matt Davis is based in Cheltenham Gloucestershire and not only are his photos amazing I love reading how he describes the day from his own point of view on his blog.  Matt was kind enough to comment on one of my posts ages ago about purple cocktails as he had shot a wedding where the guests were served them as welcome drinks.  

He really does have an eye for detail, and not only does Matt share the photos from the weddings he shoots he also gives you an insight to his personal life.  I think this is really important - I think it helps to know your photographer after all they're going to be sharing with you one of the most important days of your life.

To see more of Matt's work check out his blog or website.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Glorious Treats Indeed!

How adorable is this Sweet Strawberry Party from Glorious Treats?!

I love a good buffet table but this is too cute!!  Need to see more pictures?  Thought you might!

Hello Monday

Hello Monday Morning, you've come around far too fast and I could have done with a few more hours in bed but since you're here I may as well make the most of you!

Weekend was very good.  Sex and the City 2 not so good... I won't rant but all I'll say is that I was very disappointed.

Rage Against the Machine in Finsbury Park were very, very good!

I managed to print out 88 Chrysler Buildings ready to be cut out for our order of services, as well as most of our evening invitations and I've guillotined around half of them.

I'm going to be making the most of my cupcake kit I got from the workshop at Blue Door Bakery tonight and make decorations for some cupcakes I'm taking to the festival on Wednesday.

Also.... BIG news for me.  My friend and web developer extraordinaire Steven has been working on a brand new Purple and Pearls which should be going live this week.  Exciting times!

That's pretty much all I've been or will be up to, what about you?  How was your weekend? Any plans for the week ahead?

Friday, 4 June 2010

Some Things for the Weekend

Happy Friday!  I have a monster of a weekend this week.  We're going to the Download Festival next Wednesday so we're busy trying to shop and pack for that - as well as buying new poles for our tent, pretty important eh!  We're also going to the free Rage Against the Machine gig in Finsbury Park on Sunday and I'm seeing Sex and the City 2 with Suzie tomorrow. Can.Not.Wait!

  • I'm hooked at looking at engagement shoots at the moment after booking our own and I'm in love with this one.
  • Another delicious engagement shoot with uber cute details.
  • My ideal destination for our shoot.
  • A.Mazing circus inspired invitations
  • The details, the dress, the shoes!  I adore the work of Brandon Kidd but this wedding is something extra special!
  • I'm sure you've all seen this wedding, but seriously - they thought of everything, right down to the "Just Married" sash the bride let loose on her wedding dress!
  • Alice in Wonderland inspired weddings and hen parties are huge right now, they're everywhere - but I couldn't help but fall in love with these invitations.  They reminded me of something  I fell in love with on Etsy a while back
  • This looks like one fun and colourful wedding!
  • Just to toot my own horn a little and to say thank you, two very lovely ladies have mentioned me on their blogs.  The Wedding Genie and Caroline's Cake Company.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Enjoy your weekends in the sunshine!

Wedding Weight Loss

Imagine my surprise when I stepped on the scales last night to hear "Well done! That's 3½ lbs off" ...Erm sorry can you repeat that!  She wasn't fibbing or playing a cruel joke the scales really did show a loss of 3½ lbs!

That means I've now lost a total of 8½ lbs in 5 weeks.

I set myself a mini target of losing half a stone before I went to the Download Festival next week and I've done it... plus some!

I'm going to find it hard to be good at the festival next week, there isn't a lot of tasty healthy options amongst the burger vans plus the cider will be calling me.  I'm fully expecting to gain a few pounds but at least I've lost more than I expected to this week so it won't be too bad!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

On a day like today a seaside wedding with ice creams would be perfect!

Pre-Wedding Shoot

We've booked it!! On July 4th we'll be striking poses all over Nailcote Hall!

I contacted Deborah Stott this week to see how she was and to find out when we were due to speak with her next and she offered us a few dates to choose from for our engagement/pre-wedding shoot.

Excited much?!

Obviously now I have less time to think about what I'm going to wear, how I'm going to have my hair and what, if any props am I going to take?!

We started talking about it last night and I said I really want this shoot to be about us.  If Has wants to wear a Metallica T-shirt then he should, because that's him!  We laughed about how we should take our patch jackets or our American Football shirts for a few fun photos.

I still really want to have a bouquet of tulips and to take a blanket for us to have a few pictures on.

I also thought it would be really cute for us to bake and decorate a few cupcakes, not only can they feature in our pictures but we can eat them afterwards! Yum!  With the blanket it could almost look like a picnic.

Although the shoot is happening in what is supposed to be the height of summer you really can't trust the British weather, knowing our luck it'll be rainy and drizzly.  I thought it might be a good idea to get a large colourful umbrella just in case!  Plus it can make for some gorgeous pictures.

Expect many "What do you think of this dress?" and "How should I have my hair" posts from me over the next few weeks!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

My very own patch jacket

Look at what Has has been working on for the last few months...

My very own patch jacket!  Full of my favourite bands and some very rare badges and patches.  Has always wears his patch jacket when we go to festivals and he decided to make me my very own - so next week we'll be Mr and Mrs Patch Jacket :D

Thank you baby!! \m/

Wedding Wednesday

Wedding Wednesday again - got to love these 4 day weeks!

If the idea of planning a wedding scares the life out of  you or if things are starting to pile up and you need an extra hand, then give Julie The Wedding Genie a shout.  She offers packages to suit most couples' budgets and requirements ranging from an hour of advice to on the day coordination and more.  I'm an avid reader of her blog where she posts advice and inspiration for your wedding day including guests posts from other top rated people within the industry.  I'm yet to meet Julie in person but we have spent a lot of time tweeting and emailing each other.  She really is a very lovely lady and I honestly believe she will do her utmost to help out any bride in any way she can.

Another lady I am yet to meet, but will hopefully in the near future.  The very talented Kerry runs Cupcakes and Peonies in the The Heart of the Country Shopping Village in Lichfield where she sells her wonderful cupcakes in a variety of flavours and colours.   You can also read about Cupcakes and Peonies on her blog

The grand reopening is happening next Saturday 12th (unfortunately I'm away else I would have been there like a shot!) So if you're in the area make sure you stop by for a cupcake or two.. or three!

Happy Birthday Sue

Today is my mother-in-law to be's birthday.  Happy Birthday Sue!  We are celebrating later with the family by going out for a meal, which I'm really looking forward to.

Sue is so clever and creative, helping us out with several little projects including hand-making over 160 stuffed fabric hearts!

A few Christmas' ago as a gift, Has treated me and Sue to a day out in London.  We started at Gordon Ramsey's restaurant, Box Wood Cafe - where we both had a little too much to drink and left a little giggly and tipsy and then went to see the stage production of Dirty Dancing - it was such a fun day!

We've also spent many a day together dressed in Victorian/Medieval costumes at various craft fairs where we sell Sue's famous Worry Bears along with a collection of Sue's other clay work. (I told you she was clever!)

I hope you have a wonderful birthday Sue!
Lots of love xxx

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

My new toy

Love it, how have I spent so long without it?!  
So as far as apps go I have the basics, Twitter, Facebook, Wordpress, Hipstamatic (which I love!) Angry Birds (hmm addicted much!) and a pollen count forecast (for my sneezy nose - high tomorrow if you're wondering.)

But what other apps do I HAVE to have?  What's on your iPhone? Are there are cool wedding apps?  Tell me!

5 months

How was your bank holiday weekend?  I had fun spending it with family and friends.  We went to our friends wedding party on Saturday night, it was nice to be able to congratulate them properly and see them in their wedding outfits. We didn't get round to looking for our rings, so they'll be on next months list!

I had a bit of a "oh crap it's June, which means we have 5 months left" moment this weekend.  I don't have a weekend off now until the middle of August with various events so I'm going to have to call on the help of others to get things finished off.

Over the next few months we have 7 festivals/gigs, 2 weddings, 9 birthdays, a Race for Life and a craft market.  Busy!

I haven't crossed off everything from May's to do list.  I ordered the bridesmaid's dresses, painted the chalkboard hearts with a second coat, re-joined weight watchers (and lose 5lbs in total so far!).

I also ordered something for the bridesmaids from Yarwood-White for them to wear on the day and I tried out my camouflage make up.  The invitations have had a little more work done to them and are very close to being finished!

I do have quite a bit on in June, including the Download Festival next weekend, which I am super excited about, but I do have to get a wriggle on now, I was hoping to have all the DIY projects finished by September so I didn't have any last minutes battles with glue dots and ribbon.

Therefore in June I am hoping to...
  • Finish day invites (Suzie and Hayley are coming to mine on the 16th armed with tweezers for attaching teeny pearls to the invites
  • Print out and back evening invitations.
  • Print out the Chrysler Building shapes on to card for the covers of the Order of Services.
  • Think about the menus and table plans
  • Go over guest lists for day and evening.
  • Look for bridesmaids shoes.
  • Speak with Deborah Stott about our pre-wedding shoot
  • Purchase rings
This month I really want to focus on the invitations.  I don't want to be worrying about them next month when the deadline is getting tighter.

One minute I think it's still quite a way off, but then judging by how the months are flying by at the moment the day will be here in a heart beat!  Exciting and petrifying all at the same time!

Friday, 28 May 2010

Some Things for the Weekend

Another bank holiday weekend!  Has and I are going shopping for our rings tomorrow, we're going to the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham to find ourselves a deal... hopefully!

Our friends were married in New York earlier this month, as most of their family and friends couldn't attend they are having a party tomorrow night to celebrate.  I hope they have pictures to show us!  They got married in the Empire State Building, I bet it was amazing!

Also, today I ordered myself...... an iPhone!!  Yay!!  It will be arriving tomorrow morning and I.can't.wait

Things I've been loving this week

Have a wonderful weekend xxx

Cupcake Decorating Workshop

Last night me and Suzie joined Sarah in her Blue Door Bakery for a lesson in swirls, sugar shapes and sprinkles. It was pure cupcake heaven!

As well as me and Suzie, 5 other ladies joined us including Louise who writes a food blog Comida yVida.  We all sat round a table full of cutters, gel colourings, spatulas, rollers and sprinkles in every shape, size and colour you could imagine.

We learnt about sugar paste and we able to use different gel colours to create beautiful shapes from the dozens of cutters she had.  (Sarah had made a purple sprinkles section for me to sit next to!)  These were mine and Suzie's creations.

Can you guess which ones were mine!!?

Sarah taught us how to make the best tasting fondant and butter cream icing and then how to create perfect peaks and rose swirls.

We each had 12 cupcakes to decorate with our icing, sugar shapes and sprinkles.  It was so much fun!  We even had the chance to fill our cupcakes with a chocolate ganache Sarah had made earlier, yum!

Look how proud we are!

A closer look at our cupcakes, mine...


You'll see Suzie perfected the rose swirl, a lot better than my attempts!  We had such a fun time and I would definitely recommend a workshop to anyone who loves cupcakes and baking.

Suzie and I also left with a cupcake decorating kit, which includes loads of goodies needed to recreate these decorations at home.  You can buy these online or when you attend one of these workshops.

Thank you Sarah for being a wonderful host and teacher... I want to do it all again!!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Guess where I'll be tonight?!


Hopefully making gorgeous looking cupcakes at the Blue Door Bakery Decorating Workshop  I can't tell you how excited I am!

I shall post the outcome tomorrow....!

Wedding Weight Loss

I've been sticking to the diet religiously, even when we went out to Stratford I included a 99 ice cream into my points.   I'm very much in the zone and although I have a few wobbles where I would kill for a doughnut or pizza I'm focused on my end goal.

Last week I put on 1/2 pound.  It really upset me, the only thing I can think of that may have caused the gain was because I ate a meal of chicken and spaghetti before being weighed.  (Never again!)

Today is my usual weigh in day, but as I'm going to the Blue Door Bakery cupcake decorating workshop I went last night instead.  I'm happy to report that I lost 2 1/2 pounds. Yay!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Wedding Wednesday

Another round of suppliers, resources, blogs and websites that I have found invaluable throughout my wedding planning journey

I used to walk into newsagents and shops and casually browse at lifestyle magazines, flick through Cosmopolitan or Ideal Home, whilst eyeing up the glossy covers of the wedding section.  It was silly to be picking those up whilst I didn't have a ring on my finger.  So at the earliest opportunity after Has got down on one knees, I picked up a copy of the first wedding related magazine I could lay my hands on.
I used to spend an absolute fortune on wedding magazines and have quite the collection at home.  My overall favourite has to be Wedding Ideas Magazine.  It comes in handbag size and is packed with real weddings, ideas, advice, beautiful themes, accessories and dresses.  It soon became the only magazine I would buy every month.  I joined the forums and spent ages reading about how other brides were planning their day.  What I like about this magazine is not only is it a great price (£2.99) but it isn't filled with things that are out of reach.  It is aimed at the average bride who doesn't have a never-ending budget like some bridal magazines.  You'll still find it packed full of lovelies but for everything that is on the higher end of the budget scale there will be a bargainous alternative 

Whilst their website maybe a bit clunky you really can't complain about the price.  I have ordered all our pocket folds and extra paper from PDA Card and Craft and I can't find a single bad thing to say about them. Their prices make it cheaper for brides to DIY their own invitations and the quality of the card is great for the price.  You might see a slight difference if you held it up next to a more expensive option but your guests will never know.  I searched high and low for pocket fold cards so I could make our invitations myself, I found using  PDA Card and Craft I would save at least half of what I was expecting to pay.

Our Invitations

After seeing a handful of photographers we didn't click with I was beginning to get a little frustrated.  I spent hours online trying to find a photographer who would deliver exactly what we wanted.  I found Deborah Stott and loved what I saw and asked her for a sample of her work.  She sent us a brochure with prices and a DVD with photos from a wedding she had not long done.  We met the lovely Deborah for a chat and she was so interested in our wedding.  She wanted to know every little detail and it didn't seem at all false.  I loved that she took so much interest and shortly after we confirmed her for our wedding day.  Deborah is based in Trentham, Stoke on Trent but is available to travel throughout the UK.

Know of an amazing blog or website that has offered you with invaluable advice or inspiration throughout your planning? Or are you a supplier who believe your service is tip top? If you want to be featured on Wedding Wednesday please send me an email.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

As I was saying...

Following on from my earlier post today, this article popped up in my Google Reader and I knew I had to share.


Being ill for your wedding day

Without going in to too much detail I haven't really been feeling myself lately.  I have a reoccurring problem which is really getting me down.  It's nothing serious, but the doctors can't tell me what it is.  I have sore blisters on my toe which stop me from wearing shoes and walking properly. Ouch :(
I had it last year and after several rounds of antibiotics and antiviral tablets, combined with a cocktail of creams it finally went away after it plagued me for about 3 months.

Obviously with our wedding only 5 months away I'm worried about this cropping up again.  I'm being referred to a dermatologist so hopefully they can shed some light on what it is!

It got me thinking.  What if I do get it again for the wedding or come down with another sickness? What can we do to prevent or minimise our chances of being ill?  I wrote this post a little while ago about how to boost your immune system with different foods but I have since found a few bits of advice on how to stay in tip-top condition for your wedding day.

Pre-Wedding day wonders
  • Don't skip meals - It's important to keep your body nourished, if you want to lose a few extra pounds before your wedding day do so sensibly, your body needs food to maintain it's energy and skipping on meals will leave you feeling lethargic . Try eating a diet rich in lean protein such as fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, beans, peas and lentils.  They will help you feel fuller for longer, so you can slim down in a healthier way.
  • Catch plenty of Zzz's - However tempting it is to stay up and just finish off the last few favours or table plan, remember research shows that sleep helps boost your immune system, plus you'll feel extra refreshed after a good nights sleep to face the day.
  • Scrub-a-dub-dub! - Many infections spread from person to person, germs are picked up easily through keyboards, hand rails and door handles to name but a few. (Eeeww!)  It's a good idea to carry around antibacterial gel and getting into the habit of wash your hand regularly for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap.
  • Take your vitamins - Even if you do have a healthy diet you can give your body extra help by adding vitamins to your daily routine.  Vitamins A and C have been proven to prevent colds whilst research suggests people who took a garlic supplement were less likely to have a cold. 
  • Relax! - Stress can make you ill.  Planning a wedding can be very stressful so you need to allow yourself time to relax and do something unrelated.  It is said exercise is very good at beating stress, failing that treat yourself to a massage or an hour in the bath with a good book.

Uh-Oh! On the day offenders.

So, what if the worst happens and you wake up on the morning of your wedding feeling more like a monster than the blushing bride?   There are a few tips you can follow to help you feel and look better.
  • Red or puffy eyes - Your beautician should be able to hide any dark circles with a good concealer but you can reduce swelling with a cold wash cloth or if you can get hold of it, cucumber works wonders.  Sit with your eyes closed for around 10 minutes and it should help reduce any puffiness by constricting the blood vessels
  • Diarrhoea - It could be the nerves!  However keeping a supply of Imodium in your survival kit isn't such a bad idea.  Remember to keep yourself hydrated otherwise you could end up feeling worse.
  • Bloating -  Again it could just be those nerves kicking in but Peppermint tea or oil is a quick fix for bloating and abdominal pains.
  • Upset Stomachs - Keep a handy bottle of Pepto Bismol in your survival kit.  I've also found that a glass of flat fizzy pop can help settle a tummy.  Place a metal spoon in the glass to remove some of the bubbles.
  • Sore Throat - Sip a hot drink like honey and lemon or ginger tea.  Any hot thin drink is good for helping sooth a sore throat.  You may also want to keep a pack of throat soothers in your survival kit.
  • Colds, coughs and sneezes - Unfortunately there isn't a quick fix.  Take paracetamol or a decongestant to help with any pain.  I have always found the Sudafed Nasal Spray to be pretty effective for blocked noses.  Remember to dab moisturiser around your nose to stop it becoming red and dry.
  • Spots - Today of all days you wake up with what looks like the start of a new nose.  Don't panic and whatever you do... do NOT squeeze, you'll only make it worse.  Any good beautician will be able to cover it but you can help reduce the swelling by applying a cold wash cloth over the offending pimple.  Toothpaste, tea tree oil and cucumber are also good at helping to reduce the red and swollen spot.
The chances are you'll wake up feeling as fresh as a daisy on your wedding day, but if you don't, as hard as it may be... relax.  If you panic and start to get yourself upset you'll only make yourself feel worse.  Enjoy the day, trust me as long as I can walk I'm getting myself down that aisle!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Stratford Upon Avon

It's been such a lovely weekend and we really have made the most of it!

It was 24°c and glorious

Yesterday we went to visit with my parents my god parents who live in Stratford.  I'm really close to my god parents, Trevor is doing a reading at our wedding and their daughter Harriet (my parents god daughter) has kindly offered to do my make up.

They live a 5 minute walk from the town centre so after sitting in the garden for a while we walked in for a late lunch/early dinner.  But as the weather was so nice we decided to have an ice cream first!

Daddy with the ice creams!
Busy, busy, busy!

We sat around by the river for a while watching the boats and the insane teenagers swimming in it!  It was really very busy, we had thought about hiring a boat but the queue was so long and the sun was so hot we moved on to a lovely pub/
restaurant and sat outside in the shade.

Has, Daw, Harriet, Mom, Trevor and Dad strolling to the pub

Unfortunately due to a blockage (!?!) in the kitchen, we were unable to order any food so moved on in the centre of the town.  Stratford is such a gorgeous place despite living only an hour away I haven't visited in years.


The town is so pretty, with loads of cute and quirky shops, I love the old style buildings and of course no trip to Stratford would be complete without a picture of this place...

Shakespeare's Birthplace

Shakespeare's Birthplace!

I've had such a lovely weekend, even if I did over indulge a little. It's been nice to enjoy the warm weather especially since it's suppose to be miserable again by the end of the week!

We have bridesmaid's dresses!!

Saturday was such a lovely day.  I had planned for Suzie and Hayley to come round in the morning and we had lunch in the garden.  We weather has been beautiful, so it was really nice to sit outside and enjoy our weight watcher friendly lunch of low fat pizza, quiche and salad followed by strawberries, jelly, meringue and cream all washed down with squash and a pot of tea.

We then picked up Natalie and Sophie and went to Wedding Belles to order the dresses! Yay!

Hayley hadn't seen the dress in the flesh so I was really excited to see her in it.  She looked beautiful of course!

We've ordered them in Amethyst for the two older bridesmaids Suzie and Hayley and the younger girls Natalie and Sophie are wearing them in Plum.  It's very difficult choosing the colours from tiny swatches but we managed to find similar colours from other dresses the store had to make our decision.

The ladies in the store have been absolutely wonderful.  The first time we went they both dedicated all their time to us and made suggestions when we needed them but stood back to let us make our own decisions and didn't give us the hard sell which I have found some shop assistants to do.  They are ordering me some swatches to keep of the colours we have picked which will be a huge help when it comes to matching shoes, plus it's nice to have something to keep until the dresses arrive.

Another big tick off the list!

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